Confessions of a Homophobe

I live in a largely Westernised, liberalist Hong Kong. Despite the fact that no one has ever pointed to me how I have personally wronged a homosexual, I belong to what the gay camp calls the ”homophobe” category. And no matter how hard I’ve tried, I still cannot change my views on homosexuality: even with all the liberalist ideals bombarding me every day and everywhere, online and offline, I find I still cannot come to terms with the gay rights movement. I can insist that the homosexuals must be loved and treated fairly. I feel angry when I hear stories of mistreat. But I feel just as strongly that homosexuality is not anything on a par with heterosexuality. To me, no other sexual orientation carries the same immense meaning as heterosexuality. By normalising homosexuality, the gay rights movement denies the uniqueness and the significance of the heterosexual union.

Sustainability

Think for a moment why we say treating the blacks unfavourably is essentially discrimination. It is because such treatment takes something perfectly normal (namely black skin) to be inferior. Why is black skin perfectly normal, then? Imagine a purely black society, totally isolated from other societies, and has never seen or even heard of other skin colours. Or imagine a world with only black people. Can such a society sustain itself for a million of years? Of course! And the same goes for any other skin colour or racial feature. So all these skin colours and racial features must be perfectly normal in themselves.

Now take heterosexuality. Can a world purely made up of heterosexuals, who have never heard of other sexual orientations, sustain itself for a million of years? Of course! In fact, heterosexual union is what allows a black community, indeed any human community and the whole human species, to bear children and not go extinct.

Take homosexuality, and the story is completely different. The fact is that each homosexual exists only as a result of his/her biological parents’ heterosexual union. Even given a world consisting of only homosexuals, unless these homosexuals engage in some heterosexual union, whether in person or through technology, they could not produce another generation!

Heterosexuality, therefore, is something essential and fundamental to humanity. It is what sustains the human race for millennia. All other sexual orientations are, at best, mere deviations from this fundamental character of humanity, and must need heterosexual activity in order to sustain at all. In this sense, then, heterosexuality and homosexuality are not equals, no matter how well you want to treat the individual persons belonging to each.

I can love fat people, and always mean well for them. But that is not the same as saying we should deny that being 300-pound heavy is a deviation from normal weight![1] The gay rights movement makes the jump from the equal status between homosexuals and heterosexuals, to an equal status between homosexuality and heterosexuality. Because homosexuals should enjoy equality, they think, so should homosexuality. This confuses the whole issue and in the end drives away many who originally also wanted to fight for equal rights for all.

For my part, I believe that heterosexuality is what sustains humanity and should therefore be given special status. Those who want to acknowledge this fundamentality of hetersexual union, I must add, should at least be allowed to do so, instead of being silenced.

Becoming One

We live in a world addicted to fulfilling individual drives and desires. In pursuing this addiction, we have killed all kinds of meanings.

If sex was nothing beyond the pleasures of individuals, then of course all sexual orientations would be equal. But it is not.

We have taken the concept of marriage for granted. It may be time to ask the question what is marriage in the first place. Why would people want to create marriage in the first place, and make it something so difficult to get out of, if it really was just for pleasure and companionship?

Our ancestors did not put all possible imaginable sexual orientations on the table, as it were, and randomly decided to demean all of them except heterosexuality. Rather, they must have found that, out of all the countless types of bonds and companionships formed between men—friendships, sports teams, etc.—only one carries unique meaning: the parties by their very nature form a union, they naturally become one.

Wedding pin Sexual union means, sexually, the individuals become one. How is this possible? Simple, by having one member from each sex! When you have one instance of every member of a kind put together, you automatically get a set. When you have one representative from every country, you get the United Nations. Any other combination, such as having two US representatives and none from South Africa, is not nations united.

When you have a left shoe and a right shoe together, you get a pair of shoes. It’s just simple as that. Of course you can have two left shoes and two right shoes. These are physically possible, but they carry no special meaning, any better than three left shoes or ten right shoes, even if they are all from the same design. They are just the same thing repeated. Consequently we don’t give these a special name. A left shoe and a right shoe together, however, has special meaning and so we conventionally find it useful to call them “a pair of shoes”. They naturally form a set. Anybody calling two left shoes or two right shoes “a pair” simply misses the point!

By the same token, a sexual union—sexes united—can only be meaningfully formed by having one member from each sex, i.e. one man and one woman. Any other combination simply fails to form a natural set. In other words, any other combination fails to convey the concept of union. Two men together is just the same sex repeated, as is five women together. If two persons of the same sex could become one, why not three, or four, or five? Homosexuality, therefore, essentially fails to convey the sexual completeness which the man-woman union does so naturally and beautifully: each sex is present and is graced with equal standing. This is sex equality in its simplest form. Homosexuality, however, confers no equality on the sexes. Male homosexuality means the woman is redundant in a sexual union, while female homosexuality means the man is redundant. So taken together, homosexuality says we are all redundant as men and women!

And more, since you have a representative from each sex in the man-woman union, you already have the whole humanity represented there! You naturally get a basic unit of humanity. The man-woman union, therefore, is a neat miracle of the equation 1 + 1 = 1, whereas homosexuality is only the usual 1 + 1 = 2, and there is always the question why not include more?

Bear in mind that the kind of wholeness which the man-woman union carries is not just an abstract mumbo jumbo. The fact that a man-woman union always potentially results in the biological conception of a new, complete human being shows that, inherent in such a union, there lies nothing less than humanity in its wholeness. This wholeness is biological, i.e. concrete and objective. When a husband says his wife completes him, and when a wife says her husband completes her, they are not just talking metaphor. They mean a real, sexual completion in each other.

But not so with homosexuality, in which each party only sexually repeats the other. It involves no union of persons either logically or biologically. And no, hijacking the name “sexual union” does not make you one. “Homosexual union” is essentially a modern oxymoron.

Public Stakeholders

Only the man-woman union bears new members for the whole society. This entails more than just the sustainability needed of the human race. More importantly, men and women who enter the man-woman union can do something the government can never do: bear and raise infants as biological parents. And this is precisely what human children, as mammals, needs: to be raised by their own biological parents in a constant environment. This means the society has every need to regulate heterosexual partnerships! That is, the society needs a secure system to encourage man-woman partners to exclusively stay together for life (to provide a stable family for their children), and even have their names registered with authority, so that the society knows who are responsible!

Otherwise why did all kinds of societies across geographical borders and cultural diversities take pains to regulate man-woman partnerships? Why did they (1) make the parties vow to each other (2) with wordings dictated by the law (3) in front of a recognised officiator, (4) require a minimum number of witnesses to witness the vow-making, (5) put the parties’ names in a registry system, (6) prohibit double registry, and (7) create a complicated legal procedure such that, even if the parties’ feelings for each other ended, they would not be able to walk away easily?

All these for what? For the sake of the children that resulted, or would result, from those unions, of course! The society had to take seriously the commitment vows of whoever father and mother the next generation, and hold them responsible for their vows! This is why different societies and cultures across the globe thought (before the gay rights movement, at least) that this particular kind of companionship—man-woman union—deserved its own laws, and indeed a special name. In English, it’s called marriage. Marriage, by its origin, then, is only for partnerships which produce children.

Why were all other kinds of pleasurable companionships not regulated similarly, i.e. with vows, officiators and witnesses, and a legal divorce procedure that prevented the parties from separating too easily? Why? Because there was no need to! They had no public stakeholders. They did not carry any meaning beyond serving the pleasures and needs of the individuals involved. So when such a companionship no longer served the original parties, there would be no reason for the law to hold up their separation. Indeed, there was no reason to encourage the companions to vow to stay together in the first place. The government, therefore, has no need to regulate homosexual companionships, any more than, say, ball teams or mahjong mates. If they come together, they come together. If they fall apart, they can fall apart any time. The society is not at stake.

The gay rights movement argues for the legitimising of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, by arguing that the homosexual relationship serves the homosexuals’ needs for pleasure and intimacy. Granted. It serves the homosexuals, but not the general public. Homosexuals could adopt children all right, but only in the same sense that anybody could adopt children, because they adopt children without providing for a traditional home, anyway.

Today, we have often romanticised marriage (or more accurately, the wedding) such that we think it’s discriminatory not to include gays. But really, marriage was a system designed to hold certain people (i.e. those who entered a man-woman union) responsible because their coming together produced children and thus involved public interest. The gay rights movement wants to claim marriage for homosexual companionships, but can do so only at the expense of erasing the meaning of marriage altogether. Supporting gay marriage or homosexual behaviour will only violently degrade the man-woman union into nothing other than the pleasurable companionship between two random people. When something which is not a sexual union and has no public interest (explained above) can qualify for marriage, then marriage loses its meaning. It will be able to accommodate for just about anything, too.

Conclusion

Wedding ApplesI find it useful to follow Michael Hannon’s summary of the gay rights movement.[2] The gay rights activists have made the typical confusion which many little children make between “Can I (go to the bathroom)?”  (dealing with ability) and “May I?”  (dealing with permissibility). All along, the gay rights activists think it is only a matter of “May I?” when it comes to public endorsement of homo-sexuality and gay marriage as something on a par with man-woman union, when really it is primarily a matter of “Can I?”. To me, homo-sexuality, and indeed all the other less common sexual orientations, simply fail to even compare with the unique and vastly meaningful union between a man and a woman.

In the end, I have decided: perhaps I am not homophobic after all. I am just a big fan of the beautiful union between one man and one woman. Don’t let anything whitewash the meaning and beauty in the bonding of male and female, which so naturally and gracefully become one.

[1] This also shows why the concept of nature vs. nurture does not always usefully enter the discussion. Inherited characteristics can also be deviations from health, such as being overweight.

[2] Michael W. Hannon, “The Abolition of Man-and-Woman: On Marriage, Grammar, and Legal Strategy,” Public Discourse, 15 Nov. 2012, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/11/7051/ (accessed 28 Nov. 2012).

(I do not own the photos.)

29 thoughts on “Confessions of a Homophobe

  1. I really don’t understand your logic about a population being able to sustain itself as a test for whether they should enjoy equal rights. What has one got to do with another? A population consisting entirely of women would not be able to sustain itself either (or men for that matter). Does that mean we should treat them as lesser beings?

    • Dear Simon, thanks for taking time to respond.

      1. I never denied that homosexuals should enjoy equal rights! Where did I say that? What I was saying was that their equal rights does NOT mean homosexualITY is therefore on a par with heterosexualITY (as black skin is on a par with white skin).
      Of course the person should always enjoy equal rights, but whether his physical condition is normal is another matter! Am I treating fat people as lesser beings because I think obesity is a deviation from normal weight??? Please tell me.

      2. Your example about the entire population being male or female does not make the point. The whole point of heterosexuality is that humanity needs to have BOTH male AND female in order to sustain! The Chinese word for gender 性「別」 makes the point clear. It’s precisely our sexual DIFFERENCE which sustains us!

  2. “Supporting gay marriage or homosexual behaviour will only violently degrade the man-woman union into nothing other than the pleasurable companionship between two random people.” Why are unions between member of the same sex random? Why would you suppose that same sex couples who marry don’t give it the same serious thought and sense of commitment as heterosexuals?

    • Yes I agree a gay couple can be serious and committed in their relationships. What I mean by “random”, is that if we normalize homosexuality, then we have to recognize that the object of sexual attraction does not matter anymore, when it used to matter greatly. It mattered greatly because: (1) only opposite-sex unions by nature bear children for the whole society; and (2) only opposite-sex unions are true sexual unions, (i.e., sexual difference in unity).

      Anyhow, I heard from a friend who is a friend with many gays, that even they are deeply worried by a reality they see in their gay community: being dumped by a sex partner is common, and old gays are often left alone. They don’t want to be like this when they’re old. They realize they need to find an alternative to the gay lifestyle when they are still young.

      Once again thank you for taking time to respond.

  3. 1. First of all, the human population is hardly in danger of extinction, so I don’t know what being able to sustain itself has anything to do with anything. Secondly, being homosexual does not mean not being able to have sex with members of the opposite sex. According to Kinsey, most people are in the middle of the Kinsey scale.2. I’m not sure what you mean by homosexualITY is not on par with heterosexualITY. Certainly they are not the same, but being on par implies one is superior to the other? 3. What do you mean by “if we normalize homosexuality”? Who is “we” and what does normalize mean? 4. Heterosexuals never get dumped by their partners? And what is the divorce rate these days? 5. You say that “I believe that heterosexuality is what sustains humanity and should therefore be given special status” certainly that goes against your assertion that “I never denied that homosexuals should enjoy equal rights! “??

  4. 6 “only opposite-sex unions are true sexual unions, (i.e., sexual difference in unity” I don’t understand how sexual union between members of the same sex is less true or untrue. In what sense is opposite-sex unions “true”? 7. If Child bearing is the only reason for marriage, should we forbid people who are past child bearing age from getting married? Should we break apart barren couples?

  5. all i’m seeyin here is tired old cliches.
    if you don’t want to extend marriage equality to same-sex couples because they don’t produce the next generation, then lobby to ban marriage for all childless couples and outlaw divorce for all married couples!
    once you’ve achieved that – get back to us.

  6. i didn’t say having children is the only criteria for marriage. Man-woman union is unique in itself to deserve social recognition. it involves a complementarity of the two sexes, and celebrates sexual difference. it gives equal standing to each sex.

    but i think i get it…yes we should extend marriage equality to same-sex couples, and to singles, and to polygamous multiples, and to any combination imaginable, any kind of friendship you can find in the world, in order to achieve true equality for all!
    Why only for two people? A guy in China was once married to himself (dressed as a female in a photo). I mean, I don’t see why not!

  7. Every man-man or woman-woman union is also unique and gives equality to both partners. And you’re right about other combinations. Hong Kong recognized polygamy until the 1970s, as do many societies across the world today, and God has not caused these society to explode. Only our bigotry and lack of imagination makes us think one man and one woman is the only possible human bonding.

    • man-man or woman-woman union is also unique and gives equality to both partners <– yes, but not to each sex.
      What if they tell you United Nations now consists of only two Americans (with all other countries absent) and it's ok because they treat these two American representatives equally?

      HK once recognized one-man-one-woman marriage with 二奶, 三奶… and this was what made many many many women suffer!

      • Lots of women were happy in polygamous marriages. Lots of women suffer in one on one marriages now. Suffering doesn’t have anything to do with anything.

    • Of course they’re different my dear, similarly same-sex relationships are different from man-woman relationships!
      If sex was not an issue for marriage anyway, then why couldn’t the government recognize friendships the way it recognizes marriage?

  8. We are all different, and every union, by its very nature, celebrates difference. Gender is but one in 1,000,000 ways we are different from one another. I don’t see any reason why it should be the one defining characteristic of marriages.

    • of course there are 1,000,000 ways to celebrate differences. But when we have different nations in a union, we give it name, and that’s UN. When we have sexual difference in union, we give it a name, and that’s marriage!

  9. BTW, the Bible does not believe in equality in marriages. Paul the apostle wanted women to be submissive to their husbands. “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” (1 Tim) “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” Eph 5

    • Read carefully. A wife is to submit to her husband ONLY in the context of the husband loving her and even willing to DIE for her, the way Christ died for the Church (Eph 5:25).
      Also in Christian theology, Jesus subordinates to the Father. This never made Him any lesser than the Father, but instead, glorified.

  10. “If sex was not an issue for marriage anyway, then why couldn’t the government recognize friendships the way it recognizes marriage?”
    but if two besties of opposite sexes decided to get married, the governments would recognise that as a marriage would they?

  11. What does submission got to do with willing to die for somebody? Isn’t it better to love without wanting something in return, as Christ loved humanity? Besides, how often would a husband’s willingness be put to the test? Yet he could always hold this against his wife and require her submission all the time! That doesn’t sound like equality to me!

  12. Eph 5 says “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” . It does not say anything about the husband’s willingness to die for her. 1Tim is even more clear. “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

    I wish you would stop putting your own spin on the Bible, and read it for what it says, not what you wished it says.

    • “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR HER.” (Eph 5:25)

      Why would I wish Eph 5 to say what it says???

      Anyway since you wanted to quote 1 Tim 2:12 that a woman should be quiet and not teach or assume authority over a man, therefore, I will be quiet and not reply you anymore. Thank you for your comments.

      • You want to be quiet because you know I’m right. The Bible never taught equality of the sexes. Otherwise why would Eve be made from Adam’s rib? In the OT, a man can divorce his wife simply by writing a certificate of divorce and sends her away (Deut 24:1), but a woman can’t divorce her husband.

        Both Jesus and Paul taught that being single is the ideal state. Paul said “it’s better to marry than to burn”. Marriage is just for satisfying your lust.

      • In Eph 5:25, it calls for woman to submit to their husband and husband to love their wives. But a man does not have to listen to the wife, nor is the woman expected to love her husband. Kind of strange, isn’t it? the same chapter also calls for slaves to obey their masters. Doesn’t sound like Paul or whoever wrote the latter believed much in equality, does it?

  13. “When we have sexual difference in union, we give it a name, and that’s marriage! ” Who is “we”? It certainly does not include the dozens of nations that already recognizes gay marriage.

  14. “When we have sexual difference in union, we give it a name, and that’s marriage! ” I love the way that no matter how reasonable people seem at first in their stance against gay marriage, upon further probing, it always descends into prejudice and unreason. It basically boils down to :”I like it, therefore I prefer it, therefore I’m right.”

  15. I truly enjoyed your writing and your logic…I came across this because I am contemplating writing my weekly column on this topic and googled “confessions of a homphobe” – I love the way you came to the conclusion that you’re in favor of “real/true” marriage. For me, I can’t shake the obviousness of the unnaturalness of the homosexual act/activity. As a believer I regard it as an affront to God…In the same way that Abraham’s ungodly union with Hagar has produced ages of misery for the world, so too will all these ungodly homosexual “unions”. Their desire to get us to accept it and society to condone, worse yet, “bless” it is a desperate attempt for the deviants to feel “justified” and make it appear normal. Their desire to label me a homophobe and thereby either discredit me or somehow dismiss my position is nonsense. Homosexuality is, and always will be unnatural and ungodly and will harm all those that engage in it or condone it. Even though I’ve never met you See Yin I can honestly say I love you brother! This deviance and their devotion to defending it is but one more sign the King is coming soon! This is my take on what’s going on: http://thecoloneloftruth.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-truth-shall-make-you-free.html
    Bless you!

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